With Bill Clinton's presence being hailed by Democrats on the campaign trail, another ex-president is slowly starting to emerge from his "cone of silence."
George W. Bush, who is beginning a promotional tour for his new book
Decision Points, has given several speeches about his post-presidential
life and dished on his failed effort to privatize Social Security and described how his decision to bail out banks "wasn't that hard"
of a call. Embattled Democrats, anxious to change the election
narrative from a potential Tea Party triumph, are looking forward to
once again aiming verbal barbs at Bush."He gave us a gift then, and he's
the gift that keeps on giving," Nancy Pelosi stated on MSNBC. Pundits parse whether Bush's reemergence will be a potential boon to Democrats.
Bush Is Still Conspicuously Absent on the Campaign Trail and the reason is that his poll numbers are still low, reports CNN's Ed Hornick: "A USA Today/Gallup Poll in early September found that 71
percent said Bush should get blame for the country's economic troubles. A
CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll taken at the same time indicated that
53 percent blamed Bush and Republicans for causing the current economic
conditions, while 33 percent blamed President Obama and Democrats."
His First TV Interview May Be After Election Day The New York Times' Brian Stelter notes that
Bush is scheduled to appear on Oprah on Nov. 9, the day his book is
published. His "first sit-down TV interview will be with Matt Lauer, of
the 'Today' show, and will be shown in prime time on NBC on Nov. 8...Ms. Winfrey’s interview is notable in part
because she showed her Democratic leanings by being an avid supporter of
President Obama during the campaign in 2008."
Privatizing Social Security Is an Issue Again and Bush's 2004 effort is part of Democrats line of attack, observes Time's Jim Abrams. He quotes the House Speaker's office stating "Instead
of helping seniors Republicans, backed by their allies on Wall Street,
are threatening to privatize and cut Social Security, just as they tried
to do under President Bush."
Bush Is Already a 'Frequent Punching-Bag' in Election describes The Hill's Michael O'Brien.
"Democrats accuse Republican candidates of wanting to revive Bush-era
policies, which by implication includes an effort to privatize or
curtail Social Security. Pelosi's comments on Thursday underscore the
extent to which Democrats have relied on the attacks for political
He's Back in the Spotlight Rachel Rose Hartman
at Yahoo! News reports that the ex-president recently admitted that his
"biggest failure" was not privatizing social security, which may "play
into the strategy" of Democrats. "Bush supported the partial
privatization of Social Security, and Democrats say Republicans will try
to advance that goal if they win power in Washington."
This Might Be Bad TimingElyse Siegel
at The Huffington Post notes "the comments from the former president
may leave some members of the GOP community a bit uneasy. Over the
summer, it was reported that the release date for Bush's memoir --
November 9 -- had Republicans concerned that the timing could hurt the
party's chances at the polls."
Here Is What His Book Says National Journal's Rebecca Kaplan
summarizes the decisions Bush makes in his new book. "Bush says the
book begins with his decision to stop drinking at age 40 ('a decision I
could not have made without faith') and tells viewers that after a
biographical overview of his life, he'll offer a chapter on how he
selected his Cabinet and senior staff....Bush calls the bailout his
'decision to set aside ideology to prevent an economic collapse.'"
Topics also mentioned include: 'Setting a stem-cell research policy;
sending troops into Afghanistan and Iraq; his 2004 reelection campaign;
tax cuts; the global AIDS initiative; attempts (and failures) at Social
Security and immigration reform."
The ex-decider has also taken to YouTube to give readers an unfiltered glimpse of Decision Points:
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